GENEVA, ILLINOIS — After seven unanswered goals to end Friday night’s game, the Chicago Steel picked up right where they left off, scoring the first six goals Sunday afternoon en route to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Lincoln Stars at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Chicago (34-19-2-0, 70 pts.) came out hot and were able to net six goals against Lincoln (11-37-3-4, 29 pts.) before the Stars found the net. Chicago center Nick Abruzzese had a two-point afternoon (1-1-2) while left wing Robert Mastrosimone became just the fifth Steel skater to score 100 career regular season points with a second period goal.
Steel center Josiah Slavin opened Sunday’s scoring with his fourth goal in three games this week. The Chicago Blackhawks prospect was sprung on a breakaway against his former team and took advantage, going forehand-backhand to open the five-hole of Stars goaltender Samuel Hlavaj. Steel right wing Adam Robbins fed Slavin with a perfect pass to extend his point streak to four games (0-4-4). Defenseman Ville Rasanen also picked up an assist against his former team on the opening goal.
The Steel tacked on three goals in the second period to extend their lead to 4-0 after 40 minutes. Mastrosimone netted his 28th goal of the season early in the period, giving him 100 career regular season points and also moving him into sole possession of second place all-time among Steel goal scorers (44). Abruzzese, who hit the 100-career point mark earlier in the season, picked up an assist on the play as each he (5-9-14) and Mastrosimone (7-5-12) extended their point streaks to nine games.
Steel right wing Sam Colangelo made it a 3-0 game as he scored his second goal of the week. The Northeastern University commit threw a centering pass towards Abruzzese, who was tangled up with a Lincoln defender, that deflected off a Lincoln forward and through the five-hole of Hlavaj. Less than two minutes later defenseman Owen Power struck for his ninth goal of the season as he fired a wrist shot from the slot past the glove of Hlavaj.
The Steel then struck for a pair of goals early in the third period to open a 6-0 lead. Abruzzese scored a goal of his own on a heavy one-time shot as he was set up by a pass from defenseman Matteo Pietroniro. Right wing Mathieu De St. Phalle then picked up his second goal of the week as he capitalized on a funky bounce off the end boards for a wrister past the unsuspecting Lincoln netminder.
Lincoln was able to find the scoresheet when defenseman Samuli Niinisaari unleashed a heavy shot that found room past a screened Chicago goaltender Justin Robbins. It was the only blemish for Robbins who finished with 16 saves to earn his third victory of the week.
The Steel are back in action on the road Wednesday night as they travel to Cedar Rapids for a pivotal showdown with the RoughRiders. Chicago holds a three-point lead over Cedar Rapids, who is tied for third in the Eastern Conference with the Youngstown Phantoms.
Chicago returns to Fox Valley Ice Arena for a pair of weekend home games on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. Friday night is Pucks and Pups Night presented by Woofbeach. Fans are invited to bring their dog to the game as the Steel square off with the Madison Capitols. Friday is also a Raising Cane’s Kids Day as fans 12 and under can receive a Red Zone ticket, Steel drawstring backpack and Raising Cane’s Kids combo card all for just $10. Saturday Night is the Animal House Anniversary celebration presented by Waubonsee Community College. The first 500 fans will receive a “College” t-shirt when the Steel host Waterloo.
Tickets for all Steel home games are on sale now starting at just $10 and stadium seating on the glass is available for just $20. Parking is always free.
For more information, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.